Dar says extra 5pc GST levied to cover Rs 68b losses

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Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar Thursday informed the Upper House of the Parliament that the government has increased general sales tax (GST) on import and supply of petroleum products by 5 percent to cover the revenue losses of Rs 68 billion.

Responding to a calling attention notice jointly moved by Senator Raza Rabbani and Senator Kamil Ali Agha, Dar said that the government has given relief of Rs 400 billion to the masses by reducing the prices of petroleum products by 20 to 30 percent during the last eight months.

Petrol has been reduced by Rs 29.69 and high octane by Rs 42.50, the minister said, adding that the benefits of reduction in international POL prices have been passed on to the consumers.

The finance minister said that the tax increase was not in violation of Article 77 of the Constitution. He warned of stern action against those petrol pumps owners who would not decrease POL prices at their respective pumps.

Moreover, Dar assured the House that if the prices of petroleum increased, the government will decrease the GST on the petroleum products. “If government does not increase the tax ratio, development projects will get affected,” he said.

The minister further informed the House that Rs 30 billion have been spent on Operation Zarb-e-Azb adding that more than Rs 100 billion would be spent on the rehabilitation of one million internally displace persons (IDPs).